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Helping you find a career in the Logistics industry

Logistics might not be an industry that immediately springs to mind as a post-graduation career route – but as a sector that’s likely to be worth around £20 trillion globally by 2030, it certainly should be.

Logistics is a vitally important global sector, and one that plays an essential role in the UK and the world’s economy. Working with the transport and supply chain sectors, it deals with the movement of products, and the supplying of companies and organisations across the world with the items they need at the right time. Air, rail, road and sea work together to make logistics run smoothly. Wonder how food makes it to the shelves, clothes get delivered to your door or humanitarian aid is arranged at speed? It’s all down to the skill and talent of logisticians and those that they work with.

It’s also an industry that’s moving forward at a lightning pace. Advances in technology mean that the use of drones to deliver parcels, the use of robotics and the automation of vehicles will become commonplace in the next few years. It’s a sector that is directly benefiting from the huge technological advances that are being made – and, by choosing to work within it, you can put yourself at the forefront of this fast-evolving and innovative movement.

Types of jobs within logistics

Logistics is rich with opportunities and roles are complex, demanding and well-rewarded. Logistics roles include planning, strategy, finance, operations and IT. It’s a varied area that employs people with multiple backgrounds and talents.

You can break logistics roles into five key areas: plan, source, make, deliver and enable.

Plan –developing a course of action that meets the customer’s needs

Source – finding quality materials as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible

Make – creating a product that meets the customer’s wishes

Deliver –getting your product out to customers at the right time and in the right place, as efficiently as possible

Enable – managing data, facilities and people to solve problems and promote a company’s growth


Skills & interests required for a career in Logistics
Those working in this sector need to be diligent, hyper-organised, and have an ability to pay attention to the small details. Language skills might also be useful, especially if you are working internationally. Some other vital skills include:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Numeracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Forward-thinking
  • Analytical
  • Technical mind-set
  • Commercial awareness
  • People management
  • Assertiveness
Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Logistics
Graduates entering the logistics field might find themselves working for local councils, the government, transport companies, charities, supply chain organisations, FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) companies – or in any number of other areas.

If you are on a graduate scheme you will have a structured period of learning (most likely two years) before having the opportunity to apply for a permanent role afterwards.
Tips for getting into the field
  • Display drive and passion for a career in this area
  • Get up to date with the technological innovation that the sector is experiencing
  • Be able to clearly demonstrate why you have chosen to pursue logistics
  • Make sure you know about the company you are applying for and who their main customers and competitors are before applying
  • Do lots of research into the role and programme you’re applying for, and the environment you will be working in
  • If you’ve done any extracurricular activities (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award or other volunteering) communicate the skills you have learnt and how you would use them in the workplace
  • Show that you are willing to learn continually in order to keep up with the pace of change
How much can graduates earn in Logistics?
Salaries in logistics range from around £20,000 to £50,000, and obviously when you start your career you are likely to be at the lower end of this scale.

The average salary for graduate schemes in the UK is £29,000, so if you manage to find a graduate scheme in logistics you should expect to earn around this amount.

Average salaries for certain jobs in logistics, according to Payscale, are:

Operations manager - £32,095

Logistics coordinator - £21,302

Warehouse supervisor - £24,970

Warehouse manager - £25,475

Logistics manager - £32,577

Supply chain manager - £36,000
What qualifications do I need for a career in Logistics?
There are various degrees that you can take that will qualify you for a career in logistics, for example:

Business and Supply Chain Management

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

There are also masters degrees that you can take to give you the skills needed for this area. Make sure courses are accredited by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT UK).

Other degrees that might qualify you include business, geography, engineering, town planning or economics.
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